importance of self care and brushing your teeth

But Seriously, Self-Care Is Like Brushing Your Teeth

Minty freshness and all.

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So, I don't know about the rest of the universe, but I brush my teeth twice a day: when I wake up and when I go to sleep. Weirdly enough, though, I tend to follow this mouth cleansing with a wonderful, teeth-staining cup of coffee within 10 minutes.

Many people will wait until after they've had breakfast to brush their teeth, and another group will take it a step further and brush after every meal.

Well, not to be gross, but I am not in those groups. My almost 23 years of no cavities or braces have told me that my technique of brushing twice a day is perfectly acceptable, nor do I have the time or patience to brush after every meal.

Especially considering that literally all times have the potential to be meal times in my mind.

Regardless, it's safe to assume that we all agree that brushing our teeth is good for us (I won't get into the whole flossing debacle). Dental health is all that and a box of crackers and especially good for preventing halitosis and mouth cancer.

Even so, some people may doubt the necessity of brushing one's teeth so often. It's probably the least consistent of all daily routines. I know I've just grabbed a stick of mint gum when I'm running late as opposed to taking the two to three minutes to actually clean my teeth.

Okay. Before I lose you entirely with my confessions of inadequate hygiene, lemme let you on a secret: this is all just as true for self-care as it is for brushing teeth.

Stick with me here. Self-care is that thing that's supposed to help you through the stresses of life. Essentially, it's care for your self.

I know, I don't make this stuff up, kids.

Self-care can be anything from getting an extra five minutes of sleep to canceling Friday-night plans when the week has you emotionally drained to treating yourself with a steak dinner instead of ramen for once.

However, because it looks different for everyone, it can be hard for us to validate actually doing self-care. It's much easier to pretend plaque is a big ol' lie when you can barely tell it's even there.

Plaque, like stress, builds up, though. You can only chew so many sticks of mint gum until you start feeling like you've french-kissed a bowl of lard. Imagine your dentist's face when you finally get around to meeting with them, too.

Yikes.

Same with self-care. Stress can only build up so much until your entire life is consumed by stress. Your teeth might not rot and fall out, but your hair might fall out and the panic attacks might set in.

Also yikes.

Self-care brushes away stress like a toothbrush gets rid of plaque. Do it too much, and you'll have sore gums and an extreme tendency to avoid responsibilities. Do it too little, and you'll have cavities and stress for days.

Now, I'm not here to tell you what to do. I'm not a licensed anything, and I'm a beta adult, at best. However, I have interacted with the human race just enough to know that we're all unique; therefore, we all need different routines to help de-stress.

Revolutionary work here, I know, but seriously. Take a bit to find a system that works for you. Whether it's brushing your teeth right when you wake up and taking yourself out to brunch or it's making yourself a kick-ass breakfast at home and then brushing your teeth afterwards, each person is different and each person needs their own method.

For me, I run outdoors, read for fun, and treat myself to good food with good friends. I also try to wake up with enough time to brush my teeth before I have to get to class.

Moral of the story: Self-care is essential for life. Find a routine that works for you and creates the balance you need in life.

And, most importantly, brush your teeth.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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10 Quotes That Will Help You Realize Your Self-Worth

Sometimes you need a little pick me up and that's okay because I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone. When I need a pick me up, I tend to look over quotes that help with either giving me an ego boost or reminding me to keep working.

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These 10 quotes are from a notes page that I keep on my phone with a list of over 100 quotes. I keep quotes on my phone to give me reminders, advice, or even some motivation. I specifically chose these ten quotes to help anyone remind themselves to never give up and to know your self-worth, which is priceless.

1. "Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

This quote reminds me to only focus on what I think about myself and to continue bettering myself. The part of the quote that states, "never excuse yourself" really illuminates how there is always room for improvement in every aspect of your life. Never allow yourself to fall behind and to continue growing.

2. "I am left with no choice, but to create an empire from these ruins within me."

Anyone I am depressed (or heartbroken...), this quote reminds me you can only come up from rock bottom.

3. "If you're happy in yourself, you radiate happiness and attract happiness."

Any time I'm feeling down, I like to read this quote because it helps me work to getter better. The quote pushes me to get better because everything is much better and warmer when you're happy. Emotions soak in more, laughs are genuine, and happy tears become a reality.

4. "You don't need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be." -Wayne W. Dyer

Dyer's quote forces me to continue improving myself. I know this is similar to the first quote, but it helps even more because it reminds me to never forget where I came from.

5. "Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise L. Hay

When I am feeling down about myself, Hay's quote helps me get out of the funk because I will only continue to spiral if I only focus on the negative.

6. "I am the flower and the thorns. I don't need you to touch me in order to blossom." -Haley Hendrick

Hendrick's quote gives me the confidence to be a strong independent young woman. I do not need a pity party to feel better about myself. I can cope and continue growing because rain is the only way flowers bloom.

7. "Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time."

If you continue to criticize yourself and only focus on your "flaws," you will never be able to be happy. I know it is harsh but if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to ever fully love anyone. Being kind and allowing yourself to grow is the best self-care. Take a break from whatever you're busy with at the time if you need to. Take a breath and focus on the reasons you love yourself and what all you have accomplished.

8. "I wanna make my parents proud, my enemies jealous, and myself satisfies."

This quote points you in the direction of self-growth because it allows you to remember there are never excuses for yourself. Growing up is a part of life, so is adaptation and evolution. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the times.

9. "Your body is not a temple..."

"Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."

Do not ever let anything keep your down, break through the ceiling if you have to. Keep pushing and working for whatever dreams you have.

10. "You don't have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life..."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is s relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignored your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go." — Daniell Koepke

Sometimes, you had to leave behind people you thought would be in your life forever because they're holding you back. Sometimes they just always bring negativity and make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes people make cool jokes and don't understand how it isn't funny. These people are toxic and it is okay to remove them from your life. Keep growing but always remember what could have happened if you stayed behind.

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